The Best Tool to Outline Drawings

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Outlining my pencil sketches has been a real pain in the rear lately as I had to use different ballpoint and gel pens in order to trace drawings (I am talking about manual, non-Photoshop outline process, also known as inking). I noticed that line drawings traced with regular, uniform lines have much less expressive and aesthetic-looking outlines than those outlined by means of calligraphic techniques. Using ballpoint pens did not allow me to quickly and effectively create that peculiar calligraphic pressure effect for my outlines. I had to apply a number of strokes or use a few different pens where I wanted lines to vary thickness. However those lines would came out not as clean as I wished them to be and the work would take more time and efforts. Obviously, regular ball pens are not the best tools to create expressive outlines.

The calligraphic pens seemed to be a good way out since they are specially designed to smoothly create thin, bold and angled lines. However calligraphic pens proved to be often unable to provide a necessary line thickness which may be required for certain drawings and I had to employ multiple strokes to make lines bolder which could affect the look of a drawing. Another problem with a calligraphic pen is the difficulty to control pen positions necessary to create lines of various boldness. Mastering a calligraphic pen comprehends a lot of practice. Therefore I began looking for a drawing tool which would allow playing with pressure on paper in order to easily create ultra fine and extra broad lines as well as to vary boldness of the same stroke with a single move. Well, there is only one drawing tool with which such performance can be achieved – a brush. However, when working with a traditional fine brush, one has to constantly dip the brush tip into paint which is not quite convenient for applying long, smooth strokes.

I decided to try how ink brushes used in Chinese calligraphy and painting would work for me in tracing my pencil sketches and creating drawings and illustrations with expressive outlines. Eventually I set my choice on a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. This brush pen has an efficient design and high quality materials; it is very convenient to work with and, what is also important, Japan's Pentel Corporation has a comparatively large number of dealers all over the world selling brush pens and other art supplies from Pentel. For European artists who are looking for purchasing Pentel Pocket Brush Pens http://www.pentelarts.eu/ is the on-line store to check out for this product (actually this is where I’ve got my brush pens). Pentel brush pens are equipped with cartridges filled with permanent pigment ink which allows the brush pen to combine the best qualities of a traditional brush and a fountain pen (another my favorite must-have drawing tool).

pentel pocket brush pen
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

I used to experience a lot of difficulties in regard to outlining initial pencil sketches when creating fashion drawings where I draw a lot of small details for clothing and figurines’ bodies. When tracing my fashion sketches I create quite a number of lines of varying boldness and length. In order to create smooth and aesthetic outlines for my fashion illustrations all I need is a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I have been recently commissioned to create a series of line drawings for vintage fashion inspired luggage tags. Each drawing made for this series was traced by a brush pen from Pentel to obtain an expressive outlines and to make the picture look more attractive. Below you can see the results of this work and watch the video showing how I use my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen to outline drawings.

Fashion Drawings Outlined with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen


fashion outline, outlines
These vintage fashion inspired drawings were outlined with a Pentel brush pen

how I draw fashion with a Pentel brush pen
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen allows creating expressive outlines


Related posts:
Drawing panda bears with a Pentel brush pen
Wacom Inkling review

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